Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: UK Research Partnership Investment Fund round seven

Apply for funding for a large-scale capital project that will underpin excellent research.

The funding can be used to support the development of research infrastructure, including:

  • new buildings
  • major refurbishment of existing facilities
  • the purchase of high-cost research equipment.

Your project will:

  • enable and strengthen strategic partnerships with private organisations to reach shared research goals of strategic national importance
  • unlock private investment in the sector.

Projects are required to secure double match co-investment from private sources.

This funding is for capital goods and services only and is available between 1 April 2023 and 31 March 2025.

Who can apply

Funding is available to all UK higher education providers (HEPs) eligible for research funding from either:

  • Research England
  • HEFCW
  • SFC
  • DfENI.

You must have a significant track record of research excellence.

Funding is also available to research institutes that receive core funding from UK Research and Innovation and are wholly owned by a research council, provided the project is in partnership with a lead HEP. This is to help address key social challenges where relevant expertise is not available in the higher education research base.

What we're looking for

We are looking to fund the development of ground-breaking, large-scale research infrastructure in higher education providers undertaking excellent research.

This includes projects that will deliver:

  • new buildings
  • major refurbishment of existing facilities
  • the purchase of high-cost research equipment.

Projects should be developed to enable and strengthen strategic partnerships with private organisations to tackle shared research goals of strategic national importance.

This could include sharing buildings or equipment or establishing a new research campus as part of a partnership.

The funding available is not discipline or sector-specific. However, projects should support national strategic priorities for research and innovation.

Applicants are required to source double matched co-investment from private sources, via capital and in-kind contributions, which will directly support the proposed capital activity or the research it supports.

Funding is available for capital services and goods only. Applicants should demonstrate how the operations of the proposed capital activity will be financially sustained.

Round seven applicants have the option to choose between two tranches:

  • tranche one: a one-stage process in which full bids will be submitted directly. This is for projects at a more mature stage of development, where the shorter timescale is expected to be more responsive to live opportunities
  • tranche two: a two-stage process, with an ‘expression of interest’ stage followed by submission of full bids. This is for projects that require further development before they are ready for assessment (for example, those requiring further partnership development or securing planning permission).

For full detailed guidance, please refer to UK Research Partnership Investment Fund round seven: guidance for applicants (PDF, 330KB).

How to apply

You must first send us your ‘intent to submit’ by emailing researchpartnership@re.ukri.org
The template can be found under ‘additional info’.

All templates and accompanying guidance are available to view below as PDFs for the purpose of planning. The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) team will provide applicants with editable versions of relevant templates following the intent to submit stage.

Applicants should apply at each stage by emailing completed templates to researchpartnership@re.ukri.org

For further information on how to apply, refer to UKRPIF round seven: guidance for applicants (PDF, 330KB).

How we will assess your application

At each stage, the assessment panel will judge the relative strengths of each bid against the following assessment criteria. Further information is provided in UK Research Partnership Investment Fund round seven: guidance for applicants (PDF, 330KB).

Expression of interest assessment criteria

World-leading research

We will assess you on how the proposed capital activity will:

  • build on existing research excellence within the providers
  • lead to new world-leading research.

Co-investment

We will assess:

  • the scale, timing and type of co-investment, and how it will support the proposed capital or research activity
  • the quality of evidence of co-investment, clearly linked to the proposed capital or research activity.

Strategic partnerships

We will assess how the proposed capital activity will establish new or strengthen existing partnerships with other organisations active in research.

Feasibility, delivery and management

We will assess the extent to which the proposed capital activity can be achieved within the funding period, including the strength of project and financial planning, and risk management.

Full bid stage assessment criteria

World-leading research

We will assess:

  • why the applying higher education providers are best placed to undertake the proposed activity
  • how the proposed capital activity will lead to new world-leading research
  • how you propose to develop and attract research and development talent.

Co-investment

We will assess:

  • the scale, timing and type of co-investment and how it will support the proposed capital or research activity
  • the quality of evidence of co-investment, clearly linked to the proposed capital or research activity.

Strategic partnerships

We will assess:

  • how the proposed capital activity will establish new or strengthen existing partnerships with other organisations active in research
  • how these partnerships will build on collective research strengths to deliver local and national strategic interests.

Feasibility, delivery, management

We will assess:

  • the extent to which the proposed capital activity can be achieved within the funding period, including the strength of project and financial planning, and risk management
  • how the proposed capital activity or research activity has been developed to account for and support equality, diversity and inclusion.

Economic impact, public benefit and value for money

We will assess:

  • how the proposed capital or research activity will generate sustained socio-economic returns
  • the extent to which the proposed capital or research activity is new and innovative
  • the extent to which the proposed infrastructure will be available for public use
  • how the proposed capital and research activity will be sustained long-term.

Contact details

Get help with developing your proposal

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal, please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity

Email: researchpartnership@re.ukri.org

Additional info

The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) was established in 2012.

Since then, Research England, and its predecessor the Higher Education Council for England, has allocated over £900 million to 53 projects across the UK through six rounds of competition. This investment has attracted over £2.2 billion of additional investment from business, charities and philanthropic partners.

Supporting documents

Intent to submit template (tranche one and tranche two) (Word, 558KB)

Expression of interest (tranche two)

Expression of interest template (tranche two only) (PDF, 398KB)

Full bid template and annexes (tranche one and tranche two)

Full bid template (PDF, 341KB)

Annex A: document checklist (PDF, 228KB)

Annex B: building works, equipment purchases and environmental sustainability (PDF, 295 KB)

Annex C: financial information (tranche one) (XLSX, 54KB)

Annex C: financial information (tranche two) (XLSX, 52 KB)

Annex D: evidence of co-investment (PDF, 233KB)

This is the integrated website of the seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
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